Newhouse Insider: The Versatility of a Journalism Degree

Dominick Pfisterer

Newhouse students are a very select group of people who possess natural skills, traits and characteristics that allow them to lead a life of success. Take those natural abilities and pair it with the opportunities that a Newhouse education provides and it is no mistake that the Newhouse mafia has such a rich history.

As a Magazine, Newspaper and Digital Journalism graduate student, I have learned that the journalism industry is extremely competitive and can be an unforgiving market. That being said, if you are in journalism, whether it be broadcast or written, don’t close yourself off to only those fields. There are plenty of industries with great career opportunities where the soft skills learned at Newhouse can take you a long way.

Here are three great alternate industry opportunities for journalism students:

1.) Marketing/Public Relations

One thing all journalists have in common is that they are creative individuals with a strong background in writing. These skills that make successful journalism students carry over into Marketing and Public Relations. Writing headlines is a creative process that would come naturally when writing ads. The effective communications skills can be used to develop marketing plans. Op-eds in Public Relations is something that every journalism student will do or has done in some way if they have ever had to pitch a story. These business fields are great industries for journalism students who may not want to go into the field of journalism.

2.) The Staffing Industry

As a journalism student, I have spent a lot of time on the phone establishing relationships with interview subjects and selling pitches to editors. These experiences have allowed me to recently land a job in the staffing industry – a multi-billion-dollar industry and climbing. Staffing firms are all over the country and are always looking to hire new graduates and develop their new employees personally, professionally, and financially. Working as a recruiter in the staffing industry, you must be able to establish relationships with clients and be able to be an effective communicator – something quite common amongst journalism students. Staffing is a great field for anyone who enjoys relationship building and offers an opportunity to make a lot of money.

3.) Advertising

A common career for journalism students is down the path of a copywriter where they will use their background in writing to generate effective copy ideas to reach a target audience. It is no different than writing in the brand voice of a publication to reach their publication’s target audience. The advertising field plays to the creative strengths of journalism students while allowing them to use their journalism degree and build a portfolio of clips. Copywriters can often see their work published in many publications for their clients. Hitting deadlines, being an effective researcher, understanding an audience and having an eye for headlines will benefit any journalist or copywriter.

If you are nervous about getting a job in the journalism industry, do not let it be the end of your world. Look for as many open doors as possible, because a Newhouse degree is as versatile as they come. There are endless opportunities out there for those looking.